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01.16.13

Voices Being Hijacked by Patent Lawyers and Proprietary Software Companies

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Patents at 4:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stand with microphone

Summary: A timely reminder of the threat of losing one’s voice to one’s biggest enemy

Patent parasites, or patent lawyers like Manny W. Schecter, will continue to promote a lot of patents no matter what scholarly work shows. Evidence does not matter to lawyers; to them, “evidence” only counts if it helps their case, i.e. it they can make money from it. They have been stacking many online debates and panels (offline) recently, so they are essentially hijacking the voice of people who actually produce stuff.

“As a patent attorney…”

That is how how Schecter starts his argument as if being a patent lawyer makes him an inventor. Just let lawyers explain to us how science should work and why we should keep lawyers as our middlemen, right? Here is a new group called Application Developers Alliance. Hopefully it will represent developers when it speaks on software patents. To quote the FOSS-hostile SD Times [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] (a misnomer):

It said it plans to host a separate series this year on software patents, as well as additional conferences, summits, workshops, meetups, hackathons and webinars.

Who is funding the group and what policies will it adopt? A new group which calls itself Open Source Software Institute (OSSI) seems to be a front for proprietary software companies (trying to pass themselves off as “open source”), just like other think tanks which are dominated by proprietary software companies and call themselves “open source”. Black Duck, proprietary software seller and booster, GPL basher, software patents proponent etc. (created by a Microsoft marketing senior) is openwashing itself again. Need we say a word about Adobe trying to openwash Flash by using Apache as a shell for Flex?

Let’s acknowledge that we have got a problem when our voice and identity are lost in the mist. I received a message from the OSI’s President about it. I gave him examples yesterday. Unlike “Open Source”, there is no central authority to manage views on software patents. We need to be loud, we need to expose those who try to speak ‘on our behalf’.

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